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Crosstalk: March 18, 2016

The Obama administration is asking school teachers to start spying on American students so that extremists can be reported to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. This effort has been uncovered because of an unclassified FBI report released in January of this year entitled, 'Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools'. Joining Jim to discuss this important issue was Alex Newman. Alex is an international journalist, educator and consultant. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Florida and has worked for numerous publications. He is the co-author of the book 'Crimes of the Educators'. Its subtitle is, 'How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America's Children'. As a freelance journalist he writes for the New American. This show centered around his article titled, 'Feds Enlist Schools in War on 'Extremist' Children'. According to Alex, for years the Obama administration has been involved in 'countering violent extremism'. The Organization of the Islamic Conference's alliance of 57 Muslim governments and dictatorships actually originated this phrase. The Obama administration uses it to imply that terrorism and ISIS are being fought but just beneath the surface you can see that the FBI's report is a net that is being cast over a much larger area than just Islamic terrorism. For example, Alex noted that the report indicates the FBI is looking for people who have biases against others of different sexual orientations. In other words, if someone has anti-government views and therefore believes the government should follow the Constitution, feel the federal government shouldn't be recruiting school teachers to spy on children, or that abortion is immoral, such individuals would be labeled as extreme. Jim read from the FBI report where it says, '...to those maintaining biases toward others due to their race, religion or sexual orientation'. So if someone doesn't agree with same-sex marriage or the homosexual lifestyle or if someone takes exception to Islam being taught in schools, people holding such 'biases' would also be lumped in with those involved with Hamas, Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Alex went on to describe how propaganda is also targeted. Propaganda, good or bad, is free speech and speech, by definition, is not violent. So now we have the U.S. government wanting to crack down on children allegedly engaged in violent propaganda. This strikes against the First Amendment and Alex indicated that the federal government has no right to police the speech of individuals. The document also talks about enhancing student's social and emotional well-being. This refers to sending in psychiatrists and psychologists to begin labeling students with views that the government disagrees with. This is already happening in the UK where people who disagree with homosexual marriage are considered to have a mental disorder. Alex believes this paints a troubling picture and is part of the federal government's increasing role in child rearing at the expense of parental rights. What right does the government have that allows them to measure the facial expressions, emotions, well-being and political opinions of children, their resistance to change, along with the beliefs of their parents? While this is currently in the testing phase, unless it's stopped, this information will be collected at the state level to be housed in federal databases at the Department of Education, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services.

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